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BMS and QIAGEN join forces to study cancer using NGS technology

Bristol-Myers Squibb and QIAGEN have signed an agreement to explore the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to develop gene expression profiles (GEPs) as predictive or prognostic tools for use with Bristol-Myers Squibb novel immuno-oncology (I-O) therapies in cancer treatment.

The companies said that this will leverage the combination of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s portfolio of I-O therapies with QIAGEN’s proven track record in developing and commercializing companion and complementary diagnostics as well as QIAGEN’s portfolio of NGS technologies. I-O therapies offer a novel way to treat cancer by using drugs to target the body’s immune system to help fight cancer.

QIAGEN and Bristol-Myers Squibb intend to develop GEPs for several Bristol-Myers Squibb I-O molecules under the initial agreement. The companies also plan to enter into a further agreement to develop diagnostic products using the jointly developed GEPs and to expand the use of NGS technology with other Bristol-Myers Squibb I-O therapies.

“Greater precision in the treatment of cancer may enable faster decision making to identify which patient populations are most likely to derive benefit from our immuno-oncology agents,” said Fouad Namouni, M.D., head of Development, Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We believe working with QIAGEN will help develop better diagnostic tools to target the most appropriate immunotherapies across a number of different tumor types.”

QIAGEN and Bristol-Myers Squibb have been partnering since 2009. A key milestone in this partnership was the FDA approval of the Therascreen KRAS companion/complementary diagnostic assay in 2012.

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